Date: 1st October 2015 at 10:07am
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Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli have been Formula One’s official tyre supplier since 2011, but that could change in 2017.

French tyre manufacturer Michelin have entered the tendering process to become the sports official supplier from 2017 onwards.

If Michelin were to replace Pirelli, they would have not only invest in their tyre manufacturing for the sport, but to at least match the $40million-a-year in trackside advertising that Pirelli currently pay to Formula One Management.

Michelin have not been involved in Formula One for the past nine years.

Their last competitive season was 2006 during the era of the ‘tyre war’ with Bridgestone.

Their official application to be Formula One’s new tyre supplier from 2017 would see them replace Pirelli, if they were to win the tendering process by the FIA to be the sole tyre supplier from 2017-2019.

Early indications suggested that Pirelli would continue to supply Formula One beyond 2016, as that was the preference of Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Michelin proposals to move from 13-inch rims to 18-inch wheels was also unpopular with both Mercedes and Ferrari.

However the BBC has reported that several teams have ‘expressed a preference for a change’ following the ongoing problems that Pirelli have faced in regards to tyre blow-outs.

The BBC report goes on to add that even motorsport governing body the FIA has raised ‘doubts’ regarding Pirelli.

The FIA have however approved both bids on technical and sporting grounds, leaving the decision in the hands of Ecclestone.

So who will Bernie pick? Pirelli or Michelin?

‘The contract will go to the highest bidder – that’s the way the world works,’ one unnamed team boss said.